Myrica Gale also known as Sweet Gale or Bog Myrtle Myrica Gale is a beautiful deciduous shrub with aromatic foliage that will thrive in areas where little else does. As its common name, bog myrtle, suggests, Sweet Gale is ideally suited for waterlogged areas of the garden and acid boggy swamp soils. It is native to northern and western Europe and parts of northern North America. Typically, it grows in peat bogs and wet areas. Highly-decorative, Sweet Gale boasts dense, glossy, dark green foliage with a pleasant scent. When rubbed or crushed, the oval leaves let out a fragranced resin that has a distinct and sweet aroma. In fact, Myrica Gale has traditionally been used as an insect repellent owing to its unique perfume, as well as in folk remedies, essential oils, and even alcohol production.
In April and May, Bog Myrtle produces clusters of golden yellow and brown catkins both male and female on separate shrubs. The ornamental catkins are followed by yellowish-brown berries.
Height and Spread of Myrica Gale Sweet Gale is a compact shrub with a suckering habit that will grow to be between 1 and 1.5 metres high and wide.
How Hardy is Myrica Gale Bog Myrtle thrives in what are considered to be less than ideal conditions for plant growth. This tough little shrub is fully hardy in the United Kingdom. It will thrive even in the harshest climates with winter temperatures well below -20 degrees Celsius.
How To Use Myrica Gale Highly ornamental yet versatile, Sweet Gale can easily fit in any garden. The dense, perfumed foliage offers multiple seasons of interest, and the naturally compact form makes this shrub perfectly suited for mixed shrub borders where it can serve as a backdrop plant for flowering cultivars. However, due to its unusual resiliency when it comes to wet and boggy soils, Myrica Gale is most commonly used simply to add interest in areas where no other plant would thrive.
How To Care For Myrica Gale A tough and undemanding shrub, Myrica Gale does best in moist, humus-rich soil. It will tolerate waterlogged and acidic soil. Pick a spot in full sun to partial shade for best results. Bog Myrtle is generally pest and disease free.